The third-generation Moto G (left) next to the original.
9 more images in gallery
I was a big fan of the original Moto G when it launched. It couldn’t hold a candle to the parade of high-end phones that makes its way through the Orbiting HQ every year, but the original brought solid build quality, a decent display, and a modern bloatware-lite version of Android to a market segment served mostly by cut-rate garbage and old flagships.
The second-generation model was still fine but less impressive—it got bigger and got a slightly better camera, but it was a step backward in battery life and had substantially the same specs. The 2015 Moto E complicated matters further by adding LTE and a faster chip to a phone that cost even less, though it was still a step down from the G in other ways.
For the third-generation Moto G, Motorola has managed to put together something that outdoes the first model in every important way. It's a better-looking, more customizable phone with better CPU performance, LTE connectivity, an option to double your RAM, an actually respectable camera, and good battery life. The Moto G's job is to provide the full Android experience for a third of a flagship's price, and it's a job the phone does well.